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Single Idea 19578

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 5. Natural Beauty]

Full Idea

Everything beautiful is a self-illuminated, perfect individual.

Gist of Idea

Only self-illuminated perfect individuals are beautiful


Novalis (Miscellaneous Observations [1798], 101)

Book Reference

Novalis: 'Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Stoljar,M.M. [SUNY 1997], p.41

A Reaction

It is a commonplace to describe something beautiful as being 'perfect'. Unfinished masterpieces are interesting exceptions. Are only 'individuals' beautiful? Is unity a necessary condition of beauty? Bad art fails to be self-illuminated.